Competition between Burkholderia pseudomallei and B. thailandensis.
Ngamdee W., Tandhavanant S., Wikraiphat C., Reamtong O., Wuthiekanun V., Salje J., Low DA., Peacock SJ., Chantratita N.
BACKGROUND: Burkholderia pseudomallei is a Gram-negative bacterium that causes melioidosis, an often fatal disease in tropical countries. Burkholderia thailandensis is a non-virulent but closely related species. Both species are soil saprophytes but are almost never isolated together. RESULTS: We identified two mechanisms by which B. pseudomallei affects the growth of B. thailandensis. First, we found that six different isolates of B. pseudomallei inhibited the growth of B. thailandensis on LB agar plates. Second, our results indicated that 55% of isolated strains of B. pseudomallei produced a secreted compound that inhibited the motility but not the viability of B. thailandensis. Analysis showed that the active compound was a pH-sensitive and heat-labile compound, likely a protein, which may affect flagella processing or facilitate their degradation. Analysis of bacterial sequence types (STs) demonstrated an association between this and motility inhibition. The active compound was produced from B. pseudomallei during the stationary growth phase. CONCLUSION: Taken together, our results indicate that B. pseudomallei inhibits both the growth and motility of its close relative B. thailandensis. The latter phenomenon appears to occur via a previously unreported mechanism involving flagellar processing or degradation.